Monday 7th August, 2006

 

CoP to launch probe into pundit’s beating

 
 
 
 
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By Leah Mathura-Dookhoo

Police Commissioner Trevor Paul is expected to appoint an independent investigator to look into the beating of Rabindranath Choon, a pundit’s aide, allegedly by police, on Friday.

Sources said an investigation would be conducted into claims that Choon was beaten, doused with kerosene and made to sing Hindu songs by police assigned to the Oropouche station.

Choon, 47, in an interview from his hospital bed at San Fernando General, yesterday, said he did not know the men who stopped him as he made his way home from a prayer session, just after midnight on Friday, were police officers.

He said they began beating him and he was doused with kerosene and forced to sing Hindu songs as he lay in a cell in Oropouche Police Station.

Choon sustained a fractured rib and injuries to the head.

Choon told the Guardian he was ridiculed by the police officers.

His wife, Mala, said the police refused to take her report when she went to the station.

The family, she said, wanted to meet Commissioner Paul to discuss the issue, as well as justice, and hoped that those involved would be discliplined.

They also intend to lodge a report at the Police Complaints Authority.

When contacted yesterday, Oropouche police denied that the incident took place.

On Saturday, some 200 of Choon’s neighbours and friends pounded the streets, lighting fires and carrying placards as they called for a full-scale investigation into the beating.

Old women paced the Ackbar Trace dirt road, condemning the police action, saying it was sacrilegious.

Armed policemen kept watch on the crowd.

Residents have vowed to continue to protest this week.

©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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